Paralympic sports

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Ice Sledge Hockey: United States (blue shirts) vs Japan (white shirts) during the 2010 Paralympics in Vancouver. 2010ParalympicsIceSledgeHockey.jpg
Ice Sledge Hockey: United States (blue shirts) vs Japan (white shirts) during the 2010 Paralympics in Vancouver.

The Paralympic sports comprise all the sports contested in the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games. As of 2016, the Summer Paralympics included 22 sports and 526 medal events, [1] and the Winter Paralympics include 5 sports and disciplines and about 72 events. [2] The number and kinds of events may change from one Paralympic Games to another.

Contents

The Paralympic Games are a major international multi-sport event for athletes with physical disabilities or intellectual impairments. This includes athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and cerebral palsy. Paralympic sports refers to organized competitive sporting activities as part of the global Paralympic movement. These sports are organized and run under the supervision of the International Paralympic Committee and other international sports federations.

History

Archery: Lindsey Carmichael from the United States, at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. LindseyCarmichaelBeijing2008BronzeMedalist.jpg
Archery: Lindsey Carmichael from the United States, at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.

Organized sport for persons with physical disabilities developed out of rehabilitation programs. Following World War II, in response to the needs of large numbers of injured ex-service members and civilians, sport was introduced as a key part of rehabilitation. Sport for rehabilitation grew into recreational sport and then into competitive sport. The pioneer of this approach was Ludwig Guttmann of the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in England. In 1948, while the Olympic Games were being held in London, England, he organized a sports competition for wheelchair athletes at Stoke Mandeville. This was the origin of the Stoke Mandeville Games, which evolved into the modern Paralympic Games. [3]

Organization

The Paralympic symbol Logo of the International Paralympic Committee 2019.svg
The Paralympic symbol

Globally, the International Paralympic Committee is recognized as the leading organization, with direct governance of nine sports, and responsibility over the Paralympic Games and other multi-sport, multi-disability events. Other international organizations, notably the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS), the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability (INAS) and the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CP-ISRA) govern some sports that are specific to certain disability groups. [4] In addition, certain single-sport federations govern sports for athletes with a disability, either as part of an able-bodied sports federation such as the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI), or as a disabled sports federation such as the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation. [5]

At the national level, there are a wide range of organizations that take responsibility for Paralympic sport, including National Paralympic Committees, [6] which are members of the IPC, and many others.[ citation needed ]

Disability categories

Cycling: Karissa Whitsell and Mackenzie Woodring (pilot) from the United States, compete in Beijing 2008 2008 Summer Paralympics, Tandem.jpg
Cycling: Karissa Whitsell and Mackenzie Woodring (pilot) from the United States, compete in Beijing 2008
Biathlon: Andy Soule from the United States, at the 2010 Paralympics in Vancouver. Andy Soule, 2010 Paralympics.jpg
Biathlon: Andy Soule from the United States, at the 2010 Paralympics in Vancouver.

Athletes who participate in Paralympic sport are grouped into ten major categories, based on their type of disability:

Physical Impairment - There are eight different types of physical impairment recognized by the movement:

Visual Impairment - Athletes with visual impairment ranging from partial vision, sufficient to be judged legally blind, to total blindness. This includes impairment of one or more component of the visual system (eye structure, receptors, optic nerve pathway, and visual cortex). [7] The sighted guides for athletes with a visual impairment are such a close and essential part of the competition that the athlete with visual impairment and the guide are considered a team. Beginning in 2012, these guides (along with sighted goalkeepers in 5-a-side football became eligible to receive medals of their own. [8] [9]

Intellectual Disability - Athletes with a significant impairment in intellectual functioning and associated limitations in adaptive behaviour. The IPC primarily serves athletes with physical disabilities, but the disability group Intellectual Disability has been added to some Paralympic Games. This includes only elite athletes with intellectual disabilities diagnosed before the age of 18. [7] However, the IOC-recognized Special Olympics World Games are open to all people with intellectual disabilities. [10] [11]

The disability category determines who athletes compete against and which sports they participate in. Some sports are open to multiple disability categories (e.g. cycling), while others are restricted to only one (e.g. Five-a-side football). In some sports athletes from multiple categories compete, but only within their category (e.g. athletics), while in others athletes from different categories compete against one another (e.g. swimming). Events in the Paralympics are commonly labelled with the relevant disability category, such as Men's Swimming Freestyle S1, indicating athletes with a severe physical impairment, or Ladies Table Tennis 11, indicating athletes with an intellectual disability. [12]

Classification

Swimming at the 2008 Summer Paralympics Swimming at the 2008 Summer Paralympics - women Freestyle swimming.jpg
Swimming at the 2008 Summer Paralympics

A major component of Paralympic sport is classification. [7] Classification provides a structure for competition which allows athletes to compete against others with similar disabilities or similar levels of physical function. It is similar in aim to the weight classes or age categories used in some non-disabled sports.

Athletes are classified through a variety of processes that depend on their disability group and the sport they are participating in. Evaluation may include a physical or medical examination, a technical evaluation of how the athlete performs certain sport-related physical functions, and observation in and out of competition. Each sport has its own specific classification system which forms part of the rules of the sport.[ citation needed ]

Summer Paralympics

Current summer sports

The following table lists the currently practiced Paralympic sports,

Wheelchair basketball: Iran vs South Africa at the 2008 Summer Paralympics. Wheelchair basketball at the 2008 Summer Paralympics.jpg
Wheelchair basketball: Iran vs South Africa at the 2008 Summer Paralympics.
SportEligible impairmentsGoverning bodyParalympic Games status
PhysicalVisualIntellectual
Archery Archery pictogram (Paralympics).svg Yes WA Summer sport (since 1960)
Athletics Athletics pictogram (Paralympics).svg YesYesYes IPC Summer sport (since 1960)
Badminton Wheelchair badminton pictogram (Paralympics).svg YesYesYes BWF Summer sport (starting in 2020)
Boccia Boccia pictogram (Paralympics).svg Yes BISFed Summer sport (since 1984)
Canoeing Paracanoe pictogram (Paralympics).svg Yes ICF Summer sport (since 2016)
Cycling: Track cycling Cycling (track) pictogram (Paralympics).svg YesYes UCI Summer sport (since 1988)
Road cycling Cycling (road) pictogram (Paralympics).svg YesYes UCI Summer sport (since 1984)
Equestrian Equestrian pictogram.svg YesYes FEI Summer sport (since 1996)
Football 5-a-Side Football 5-a-side pictogram (Paralympics).svg Yes IBSA Summer sport (since 2004)
Goalball Goalball pictogram (Paralympics).svg Yes IBSA Summer sport (since 1980)
Judo Judo pictogram (Paralympics).svg Yes IBSA Summer sport (since 1988)
Powerlifting Powerlifting pictogram (Paralympics).svg Yes IPC Summer sport (since 1964)
Rowing Rowing pictogram (Paralympics).svg YesYes FISA Summer sport (since 2008)
Shooting Shooting pictogram (Paralympics).svg YesYes IPC Summer sport (since 1976)
Swimming Swimming pictogram (Paralympics).svg YesYesYes IPC Summer sport (since 1960)
Table tennis Table tennis pictogram (Paralympics).svg YesYes ITTF Summer sport (since 1960)
Taekwondo Taekwondo pictogram (Paralympics).svg YesYesYes WT Summer sport (starting in 2020)
Triathlon Triathlon pictogram (Paralympics).svg YesYes ITU Summer sport (since 2016)
Volleyball Sitting volleyball pictogram (Paralympics).svg Yes WOVD Summer sport (since 1976)
Wheelchair basketball Wheelchair basketball pictogram (Paralympics).svg Yes IWBF Summer sport (since 1960)
Wheelchair fencing Wheelchair fencing pictogram (Paralympics).svg Yes IWAS Summer sport (since 1960)
Wheelchair rugby Wheelchair rugby pictogram (Paralympics).svg Yes IWRF Summer sport (since 2000)
Wheelchair tennis Wheelchair tennis pictogram (Paralympics).svg Yes ITF Summer sport (since 1992)

    Discontinued summer sports

    SportEligible impairmentsGoverning bodyParalympic Games status
    PhysicalVisualIntellectual
    Basketball ID Basketball pictogram.svg YesINAS-FID Summer sport (1992,2000)
    Football ID Football pictogram.svg YesINAS-FID Summer sport (1992)
    Football 7-a-Side Football 7-a-side pictogram (Paralympics).svg Yes CP-ISRA Summer sport (1984-2016)
    Lawn bowls Lawn bowls pictogram.svg YesYesIPC Summer sport (1968–1988, 1996)
    Sailing Sailing pictogram.svg YesYes IFDS Summer sport (2000-2016)
    Snooker Cue sports pictogram.svg YesIWAS Summer sport (1960–1976, 1984–1988)
    Dartchery Darts pictogram.svg YesIPC Summer sport (1960–1980)
    Weightlifting Weightlifting pictogram.svg Yes Summer sport (1964–1992)
    Wrestling Wrestling (paralympics) pictogram.svg Yes Summer sport (1980–1984)


    Winter Paralympics

    Current winter sports

    Alpine skiing: Talan Skeels-Piggins from Great Britain at the Winter Paralympics 2010 in Vancouver. Paralympic 2010 - Alpine skiing - Talan Skeels-Piggins.jpg
    Alpine skiing: Talan Skeels-Piggins from Great Britain at the Winter Paralympics 2010 in Vancouver.
    SportEligible impairmentsGoverning bodyParalympic Games status
    PhysicalVisualIntellectual
    Alpine skiing Alpine skiing - Paralympic pictogram.svg YesYesYes IPC Winter sport (since 1976)
    Para ice hockey Ice sledge hockey - Paralympic pictogram.svg Yes IPC Winter sport (since 1994)
    Nordic skiing: Biathlon Biathlon - Paralympic pictogram.svg YesYes IPC Winter sport (since 1988)
    Cross-country skiing Cross-country skiing - Paralympic pictogram.svg YesYes IPC Winter sport (since 1976)
    Wheelchair curling Wheelchair curling - Paralympic pictogram.svg Yes WCF Winter sport (since 2006)
    Para-Snowboarding Snowboarding - Paralympic pictogram.svg Yes IPC Winter sport (since 2014)

    Discontinued winter sports

    SportEligible impairmentsGoverning bodyParalympic Games status
    PhysicalVisualIntellectual
    Ice sledge racing Ice sledge speed racing - Paralympic pictogram.svg Yes Winter Sport (1980–1988, 1994–1998)

    Possible future winter sports

    Bob Balk, the chairman of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletes' Council, launched a campaign in early 2012 to have sliding sports (bobsleigh, luge and skeleton) included at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. [13]

    At the meeting in Madrid, Spain, on 10 and 11 September 2018, the IPC executive board announced that Para Bobsleigh had failed in some evaluation criteria and would not be part of the official program for the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games. [14]

    Abbreviations

    Notes

    The categories listed represent all those groups that participate in this sport at some level. Not all these categories are represented in competition at the Paralympic Games.

    The governing bodies listed represent those organizations responsible for the broadest level of participation. In some cases, other disability-specific organizations will also have some governance of athletes in that sport within their own group. For example, the IPC governs multi-disability athletics competitions such as the Paraympic Games; however, CP-ISRA, IBSA, and IWAS provide single-disability events in athletics for athletes with cerebral palsy, visually impaired athletes, and wheelchair and amputee athletes respectively.

    Paralympic Games status details the years these sports were practiced as full medal events at the Paralympic Games.

    See also

    Related Research Articles

    Paralympic Games Major international sport event for people with disabilities

    The Paralympic Games or Paralympics are a periodic series of international multi-sport events involving athletes with a range of disabilities, including impaired muscle power, impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency, leg length difference, short stature, hypertonia, ataxia, athetosis, vision impairment and intellectual impairment. There are Winter and Summer Paralympic Games, which since the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, are held almost immediately following the respective Olympic Games. All Paralympic Games are governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

    The National Paralympic Games are high-level multi-sport events held at the national level by the International Paralympic Committee and national Paralympic Committees in non-Olympic years. The events provide competitions for disabled athletes.

    Para-athletics Paralympic sport

    Para-athletics is the sport of athletics practised by people with a disability as a parasport. The athletics events within the parasport are mostly the same as those available to able-bodied people, with two major exceptions in wheelchair racing and the club throw, which are specific to the division. The sport is known by various names, including disability athletics, disabled track and field and Paralympic athletics. Top-level competitors may be called elite athletes with disability.

    Summer Paralympic Games

    The Summer Paralympics also known as the Games of the Paralympiad, are an international multi-sport event where athletes with physical disabilities compete. This includes athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and cerebral palsy. The Paralympic Games are held every four years, organized by the International Paralympic Committee. Medals are awarded in each event, with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, a tradition that the Olympic Games started in 1904.

    Winter Paralympic Games International multi-sport event for disabled athletes

    The Winter Paralympic Games is an international multi-sport event where athletes with physical disabilities compete in snow and ice sports. This includes athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and cerebral palsy. The Winter Paralympic Games are held every four years directly following the Winter Olympic Games. The Winter Paralympics are also hosted by the city that hosted the Winter Olympics. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) oversees the Winter Paralympics. Medals are awarded in each event: with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, following the tradition that the Olympic Games started in 1904.

    Disability sports classification is a system that allows for fair competition between people with different types of disabilities.

    Paratriathlon is a variant of the triathlon for athletes with a physical disability. The sport is governed by World Triathlon (TRI), and was first held as a Paralympic event at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    Para-athletics classification is a system to determine which athletes with disabilities may compete against each other in para-athletics events. Classification is intended to group together athletes with similar levels of physical ability to allow fair competition. Classification was created and is managed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), which is regularly published via its IPC Athletics Classification Handbook. People with physical, vision and intellectual disabilities are eligible to compete in this sport at the Summer Paralympics. The classification for this sport was created during the 1940s and for much of its early history was a medical condition based classification system. The classification system has subsequently become a functional mobility based one, and is moving towards an evidence-based classification system.

    Para-swimming classification is a function-based classification system designed to allow for fair competition in disability swimming. The classes are prefixed with "S" for freestyle, butterfly and backstroke events, "SB" for breaststroke and "SM" for individual medley events. Swimmers with physical disabilities are divided into ten classes based on their degree of functional disability. Those with visual impairments are placed in three additional classes: S11, S12 and S13. One more class, S14, is reserved for swimmers with intellectual disabilities. A final class, S15, is for athletes with hearing loss.

    Para-cycling classification is the process of classifying participants in para-cycling covering four functional disability types. The classification system includes classes for handcycles for people who have lower limb mobility issues. The sport is governed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).

    Para-alpine skiing classification is the classification system for para-alpine skiing designed to ensure fair competition between alpine skiers with different types of disabilities. The classifications are grouped into three general disability types: standing, blind and sitting. Classification governance is handled by International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing. Prior to that, several sport governing bodies dealt with classification including the International Sports Organization for the Disabled (ISOD), International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation (ISMWSF), International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) and Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CP-ISRA). Some classification systems are governed by bodies other than International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing, such as the Special Olympics. The sport is open to all competitors with a visual or physical disability. It is not open to people with intellectual disabilities.

    Para-Nordic skiing classification

    Para-Nordic skiing classification is the classification system for para-Nordic skiing which includes the biathlon and cross country events. The classifications for Para-Nordic skiing mirrors the classifications for Para-Alpine skiing with some exceptions. A functional mobility and medical classification is in use, with skiers being divided into three groups: standing skiers, sit skiers and visually impaired skiers. International classification is governed by International Paralympic Committee, Nordic Skiing (IPC-NS). Other classification is handled by national bodies. Before the IPC-NS took over classification, a number of organizations handled classification based on the type of disability.

    Para-archery classification

    Para-archery classification is the classification system for para-archery used to create a level playing field for archers with a different range of disabilities. Governance in the sport is through the International Archery Federation. Early classification systems for the sport were created during the 1940s and based on medical classification. This has subsequently changed to a functional mobility classification with the exception of blind archery.

    Paralympic powerlifting classification is the system designed for disability based powerlifting to insure that there is level competition across a range of disabilities. Categories are broken down based on weight. The sport's classification is governed by International Paralympic Committee Powerlifting. People with physical disabilities are eligible to compete in this sport.

    Para-equestrian classification is a system for para-equestrian sport is a graded system based on the degree of physical or visual disability and handled at the international level by the FEI. The sport has eligible classifications for people with physical and vision disabilities. Groups of eligible riders include The sport is open to competitors with impaired muscle power, athetosis, impaired passive range of movement, hypertonia, limb deficiency, ataxia, leg length difference, short stature, and vision impairment. They are grouped into five different classes to allow fair competition. These classes are Grade Ia, Grade Ib, Grade II, Grade III, and Grade IV. The para-equestrian classification does not consider the gender of the rider, as equestrines compete in mixed gender competitions.

    Paratriathlon classification is the classification system for athletes participating in paratriathlon. It is governed by the World Triathlon The sport has been included in the 2016 Summer Paralympics.

    Para-equestrian is an equestrian sport governed by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI), and includes two competitive events: One is para-equestrian dressage, which is conducted under the same basic rules as conventional dressage, but with riders divided into different competition grades based on their functional abilities. The other is para-equestrian driving, which operates under the same basic rules as combined driving but places competitors in various grades based on their functional abilities.

    United Arab Emirates at the 2016 Summer Paralympics Sporting event delegation

    The United Arab Emirates sent athletes to the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 7 September to 18 September 2016.

    Cerebral palsy sport classification is a classification system used by sports that include people with cerebral palsy (CP) with different degrees of severity to compete fairly against each other and against others with different types of disabilities. In general, Cerebral Palsy-International Sports and Recreation Association (CP-ISRA) serves as the body in charge of classification for cerebral palsy sport, though some sports have their own classification systems which apply to CP sportspeople.

    Les Autres sport classification is system used in disability sport for people with locomotor disabilities not included in other classification systems for people with physical disabilities. The purpose of this system is to facilitate fair competition between people with different types of disabilities, and to give credibility to disability sports. It was designed and managed by International Sports Organization for the Disabled (ISOD) until the 2005 merger with IWAS, when management switched to that organization. Classification is handled on the national level by relevant sport organizations.

    References

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    5. "International Sport Federations". paralympic.org. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
    6. "National Paralympic Committees". paralympic.org. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
    7. 1 2 3 "Introduction to IPC Classifications". paralympic.org. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
    8. Visually impaired skiers put fate in guide's hands, thestar.com, March 13, 2010
    9. "Paralympics 2012: The able-bodied athletes at the Games". BBC News. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
    10. Special Olympics and the Olympic Movement Archived 2011-10-07 at the Wayback Machine , Official website of the Special Olympics, 2006
    11. "Making sense of the categories". BBC Sport. 2000-10-06. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
    12. "Guide to the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Appendix Threel" (PDF). London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-04. Retrieved 8 Sep 2012.
    13. "Campaign launched to get sliding sports into Paralympics for Pyeongchang 2018". insideworldparasport.biz. 2012-01-03. Archived from the original on 2012-05-03. Retrieved 2012-08-12.